WHO WE ARE
Our mission is to serve the entire Cape community and visitors to the area by offering instruction, entertainment, and exhibition in the visual, literary, and performing arts.
Programming at the Center reflects real needs and priorities and is echoed by its motto: All the Arts for All of Us. Perhaps the best example of our response to the community is embodied by our Education Wing, whose Culinary Arts Center, Recording Studio, Pottery Studio, and other assets fill gaps in service, especially for under-served populations.
Our calendar of events, exhibits, and educational opportunities engage people of all ages, abilities, and incomes.
Since opening in 2007, the Center has served over 200,000 people and has received several awards, including an Adaptive Reuse award from the MA Historical Commission, a Community Impact Award from the Town of Yarmouth, and a Community Leadership in the Arts Award (selected by other non-profits across the region). It is involved in regional and state-wide arts advocacy efforts and is widely recognized as a leader in both the arts and community development.
Everything that happens at the Cultural Center is predicated upon a democratic philosophy of inclusion, encouragement, and accessibility. Its performance and exhibition schedules feature a balance of both emerging and established artists. Flexible teachers lead classes for a range of ages and abilities. Prices are reasonable, and scholarships are available for those without the means to pay. Exhibits, receptions, and many other events are free. And programs for under-served populations like youth at risk—in partnership with leaders in the social services, government, and education—provide meaningful antidotes to unhealthy behaviors. Both the breadth and depth of its programming make the Center a strong and vibrant resource for the entire region.
In 2000, the decaying but still beautiful Bass River Savings Banks in South Yarmouth was about to undergo an amazing rebirth. Once considered an architectural treasure, the building had been vacant for seventeen years and was by now in such bad condition that it was virtually un-saleable and, increasingly, a neighborhood concern. A group of dedicated citizens, therefore, formed a non-profit organization in order to transform the elegant old building into a much-needed cultural center. A very generous neighbor, inspired by this monumental effort, purchased the building and donated it to the group.
So began the six years of dedicated grassroots fundraising necessary to finance extensive renovations, originally estimated at $2.3 million. For five years, the majority of funds came from a Founding Sponsor drive, with average donations of $50, and from many other fundraising events.
These years were characterized by the determination and perseverance of the community, the board of trustees, and tireless volunteers. Finally, in 2006, the Town of Yarmouth voted to release $400,000 in Community Preservation Act Funds to the Cultural Center so that the renovation could be completed.
The Cultural Center of Cape Cod finally opened its doors in 2007. Since then it has served over 200,000 people of all ages, interests, abilities, and incomes. It offers a wide range of programs, serves as both arts and community center, and works hard to serve under-served populations. And it is intent on expanding in order to increase its services. In these and other ways it is living up to its motto to support and embrace All the Arts for All of Us.